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This shocking billboard hopes to spread awareness about corporal punishment in Texas



'Beatyourchildren.com' isn't your average billboard you might see out on the highway, but it sure gets peoples' attention.

Today, speaking on the phone with 'Beatyourchildren.com' Campaign Leader and Activist, Daniel Vander Ley, he says the billboard starts the conversation.

"Corporal punishment of adolescents by parents has been deemed a risk factor for the epidemiology of depression, suicide, alcohol abuse, child abuse and wife beating."
Daniel Vander Ley

Vander Ley says this research comes from the National Institute of Health. "If we know the dangers, if we know how damaging it is to kids, why do we encourage it?," he said.

River Road High School Principal, Dean Birkes says they've been thorough with understanding what reinstating corporal punishment would mean for them.

"This is something that our parents had come up, and talked to our board members, and our board members addressed it with the administration about we want to bring this punishment back into effect."
Dean Birkes, River Road High School Principal

And parents do have the option to participate or not, as Birkes says they know their kids best. "We're not going to force this on anybody," Birkes said.

Birkes says each kid is different, and they'll deal with behavior problems for individuals differently. "If we've got a kid that's extremely emotionally distraught and stuff, we're really going to talk to the parent and go, 'Hey, there's something else going on, we really need to be looking at this,'" Birkes said.

As far as the billboard that contradicts River Road's principles? "Everybody is going to take their own take from it, it's freedom of speech and that's what they can do," Birkes said.

"My real goal here is to provide the children in this community and across America, the research."
Daniel Vander Ley

Our affiliate ABC7 in Amarillo, Texas contributed to this story.

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